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Kaisan, reloaded

A relatively satisfying lunch experience left me hungering for more sushi, not to mention a disappointing dinner at Sushi Yoshida, I just could not wait to give dinner a try at Kaisan. Despite a slight change in the agenda, I was glad the dinner date was kept and literally counted down until the time finally arrived and we took our seats in front of the sushi counter.

With the make-shift “Today’s special” menu hanging on the wall behind serving as a guide, the chef was given free-rein for the dinner. With the food settled, we relaxed and chatted and ate, and talked, and ate some more, and laughed, and ate even more, and made friends with the staff before lifting our heavy stomachs reluctantly so the restaurant could close for the night.

The ball started rolling with Chef’s recommendation of a warm simmered dish of fried whole taro simmered in a thickened broth with shimeiji mushrooms. The dish was lovely, being the vegetable-head that I am. Then the ball gathered momentum with the introduction of sashimi.

Chef started from the white-fleshed and mild-tasting fish, which was a clean and light-flavored sayori, small in size, quickly followed by tennen hirame (wild flounder) eaten with ponzu sauce. A darker and stronger-flavored isaki sashimi followed, not without Chef's showcase of his knifeskills; definitely quite impressive!

Serious fooding, specifically sushi, followed. Again, Chef served us in a similar fashion, in order of intensity. What was put in front of us, we ate. Tai, hamachi, kanpachi, shimaaji, aji, otoro aburi, negi otoro uni, otoro, more of that delicious negi otoro uni (this time naked without rice), taraba kani (Alaskan king crab in season now), hotategai, bluefin maguro, hirame fin, ikura, and finally, we ended our gluttony on a high, a decadent negi otoro temaki.

I am still amazed I managed all of the above, and enjoyed every piece at that too. My head is still giddy from thinking about all that sushi, with special mentions to the fatty otoro that melted in the mouth, the clever sprinkling of yuzu on the saltish sacs of salmon roe, which lifted each element and yet binded them all together, the creamy kanpachi, the innovative combination of uni with negi toro and the sweet, sweet kani in season.

It would be impossible to name a favourite as I savored them all. I also tend to be biased towards a sushi that is not exceedingly big, as in the case of Kaisan. Notably, the mound of rice is kept small, not bland but instead, possesses pleasing hints of mirin and sugar.

Chef Thomas not only believes in serving the freshest of seafood but also chooses to serve seasonal varieties so the quality and flavor are at their peaks. These two qualities, fundamental yardsticks of sashimi and sushi, shone throughout the meal and I am so very glad I do not have to travel all the way to Japan for decent sashimi and sushi.

For the full set of sushi and sashimi porn, visit my photos here.

Kaisan Japanese Restaurant
Tel 63394929
#01-21 Raffles Hotel Arcade


Er... So how much was the damage? Was this something like omakase or you tell them you prefer the type of food you take?
Mia said…
@visible: this was omakase but not the standard one off the menu (there is a $100 and a $200 fixed prie omakase), stating preference for sushi. would probably cost $150-$200/person depending on the type of food served that day. Chef will try to work with your budget if you have one; just seek his inputs before hand.
Cavalock said…
that really,really looks good…I just realized its been too long since I had good sushi or sashimi. Am very tempted to try the place since its near our offices.
yixiaooo said…
gawd, ths sushi looks SO DARN GOOD.. could we could for something more wallet-friendly?? back to being a student.. haha
Chubbypanda said…
Now that's true o-zushi.

- Chubbypanda
Mia said…
@cavalock: since distance is not an issue, why not give Kaisan a try? cooked dishes are also recommended; the Jap guy is rather new but not bad.

@yixiaooo: it is all about expectations. Kuriya is not bad too; slightly less damage.

@chubbypanda: yes!
Cavalock said…
Went to Kuriya in Raffles City yesterday instead, had the chef’s recommendation. $84 but worth it. ;)
Chubbypanda said…
Hey mia!

You've been tagged for my Save Our Faves 2007 food blogger meme. Check out my post for the meme here. Hope you can join the fun. =)

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